3 February

A Feast for the Feathered

The Salty Bird

So we are drinking...

The Salty Bird

Birds, birds, everywhere, but not a crumb to spare! If you're tired of seeing your feathered friends go hungry, then it's time to celebrate National Feed the Birds Day, part of National Bird-Feeding Month.

This day is dedicated to showing our avian pals just how much we care and the perfect opportunity to dig into your bird seed stash and dust off those bird feeders. With a seasonal chill in the air (and their winter food stores running low), it's more important than ever to give our feathered friends a helping hand to keep their tummies full and their feathers warm.

But, let's face it, bird feeding isn't just about the birds, it's also about us. It's an opportunity for us to put our bird-watching skills to the test and show off our ornithological knowledge. "Oh, look at that lovely blue tit, with its dainty little bill and cheerful chirp.". Cue proud grin.

And let's not forget the all-important bird feeder etiquette. There are unspoken rules to follow, like remaining consistent with feeding. Once birds learn where they can access a steady source of food, they come to rely on it. Also make sure the bird feeder is filled to the brim, offer access to unfrozen water and lastly, ensure there are no pesky squirrels stealing the birdseed. It's a battle of wits, and the winner takes all... birdseed, that is.

So, let's get cracking and celebrate National Feed the Birds Day! Who knows, you might even attract some rare and exotic species, like the elusive Salty Bird, a bittersweet rum-laced pineapple sipper.

National Feed the Birds Day is a great opportunity to give back to nature and appreciate the beauty and diversity of our feathered friends. So, go ahead, fill up your bird feeders, sit back and enjoy the show with a cocktail in hand.

The Day The Music Died

This day in February 1959, is known to fifties addicts as "the day the music died", a day immortalised in Don McLean's American Pie in the early 70s (and covered by Madonna, among others, more recently).

What happened? A plane fell out of the sky, carrying with it rock 'n' roll pioneers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, only a few miles out of the airport. Waylon Jennings, who had jokingly said to Holly, "I hope your ole plane crashes," would be haunted by it for the rest of his life.

One of Buddy Holly's lyrics included the line "That'll be the day that I die", which gives McLean's version its annoyingly catchy chorus. "February makes me shiver" refers to the month in which these guys died. So today we are raising a glass to Buddy, a bespectacled chap who overcame physical disability to become one of the 50s' biggest stars, and McLean, an underrated lyricist, with an American Pie Cocktail.

Today is the anniversary of that submarine crash

In the middle of the night this day in 2009, crew aboard the HMS Vanguard, a British submarine probably armed with nuclear missiles, felt a jolt and heard a loud bang. And, no, that's not a good thing to hear when you're on a submarine, whether or not you're carrying nukes.

It emerged that the Vanguard had hit another nuclear submarine, the French Le Triomphant, somewhere in the Atlantic. And, terrifyingly, the impact had damaged the area where its nuclear missiles are stored. How can this happen? Well, nuclear submarines are designed to be undetectable. Which means that, without switching on active sonar, which would make them detectable, they can't avoid each other.

British nuclear submarines hit something, or run aground, approximately once a year. A cheery thought, we're sure you'll agree. We're lifting our spirits with a Submarine Kiss, a drink created when submarines were new, and nukes unheard of - and it tastes as good as it looks.

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